An old thread but thought it was worth adding an excerpt from a book I am
reading at the moment called A Bird in the Bush, a social history of
birdwatching by Stephen Moss. On page 193.
The text is by Denis Summers-Smith (an 'amateur' ornithologist) in his New
Naturalist monograph, The House Sparrow (written circa 1945).
"The peculiar difficulty of the house sparrow is its predilection for occupied
buildings, the occupiers of which at times resent being looked at through
binoculars....the problem was largely overcome by carrying out most of my
observations on houses in the early hours of the morning before my neighbours
had risen, though on occasions when they did get up early their suspicions were
even greater and led once to a visit from the police. Another time.....I was
questioned by the police when I was carrying out a census in a village where I
was not too well known. Both times, I must say, they were most courteous and
sympathetic once I had overcome their initial disbelief".
The book is worth a read.
--- On Sun, 11/4/10, Denise Goodfellow <> wrote:
From: Denise Goodfellow <>
Subject: can hardly believe it
To: "Shirley Cook" <>, "Steve Potter"
<>, "Tony Russell" <>, "Greg Little"
<>, "Alan McBride" <>, "'Dave Torr'"
Cc: "Birding Aus" <>,
Received: Sunday, 11 April, 2010, 9:20 AM
You're right, Shirley. If I didn't know Tony better, I start to wonder
Denise Lawungkurr Goodfellow
PO Box 3460 NT 0832, AUSTRALIA
Ph. 61 08 89 328306
Mobile: 04 386 50 835
Birdwatching and Indigenous tourism consultant
Interpreter/transcriber, Lonely Planet Guide to Aboriginal Australia
For American birders -
For UK and other birders
For copies of Birds of Australia¹s Top End or Quiet Snake Dreaming, visit
on 8/4/10 7:17 AM, Shirley Cook at wrote:
> Careful, you are all sounding a bit like a certain pollie!
> Shirley Cook
> Birds Australia (Northern NSW)